PC Pitstop In the News

Please note this page is no longer updated. Please refer to our Newsletter for the latest happenings at PC Pitstop.

Press Releases

In the Media



22 January 2001


PC Pitstop Study Reports Napster Is Found on 20% of Work PCs

DAKOTA DUNES, S.D.--Jan. 23, 2001---- A new report by PC Pitstop (https://www.pcpitstop.com), a leading resource for PC diagnostics, troubleshooting and research, indicates that Napster usage is most popular in the home, but also on the rise in the workplace.

The study examined more than 140,000 home PCs over the past three months and found that Napster was installed on about 40% of the PCs tested at PC Pitstop in December, up from 35% in October. The report also surveyed more than 15,000 work PCs over the past three months, and found that 20% of those PCs had Napster installed in December, up from 17% in October.

The report cites the availability of broadband or higher bandwidth connections in the office as the likely reason behind the increased Napster usage in the workplace.

Says Rob Cheng, PC Pitstop CEO, "It seems like a natural evolution. People begin using Napster in the workplace and realize the benefits of faster bandwidth--and then purchase a broadband connection for their home."

The PC Pitstop report says Napster usage in general has tripled since March. What's more, Napster and other file-sharing applications such as Gnutella and Scour (despite its recent file for bankruptcy) have had a significant impact on the PC industry, particularly in the adoption of high-end technology. File-sharing PCs have consistently shown a higher occurrence of CD-RW drives, larger hard drives, faster CPUs and faster, broadband Internet connections than the general PC population.

Please visit https://www.pcpitstop.com to download the free, complete study in PDF format--or contact PC Pitstop at research@pcpitstop.com.

About PC Pitstop : PC Pitstop, LLC, founded in November 1999, launched its Web site, https://www.pcpitstop.com, in March 2000. Using proprietary Web technologies, the site assists users in the tuning, diagnostics and education of their PC. The site has received critical acclaim from Computer Shopper, PC World, LockerGnome, and Tech TV (formerly ZD-TV).

About PC Pitstop Research : Throughout the diagnostic process, PC Pitstop is able to store large volumes of information related to the more than 60,000 PCs tested at the site every month. PC Pitstop aggregates this data to learn more about trends in the PC industry.

As a result, the site can produce custom reports on a variety of PC categories and metrics, and can update the data on a monthly basis. PC Pitstop uses this information strictly for research and aggregation purposes, and not for individual or targeted marketing campaigns. Please send inquiries to research@pcpitstop.com

Top of Page


4 December 2000


A New Study by PC Pitstop Shows Free ISPs are Rising and Claim a 4% Share of the Internet Market

DAKOTA DUNES, S.D.--Dec. 4, 2000--A new report by PC Pitstop LLC (https://www.pcpitstop.com) analyzes more than 300,000 PCs over the last six months and indicates that free, ad-banner-waving ISPs continue to grow in popularity and usage, while pay giants AOL and MSN hang on to their significant leads in the market.

The most recent PC Pitstop report, which examines the leading free ISPs FreeInternet.com, NetZero, BlueLight and 1stUp.com, finds that approximately 4% of Internet customers use a free ISP to connect to the Web. Six months ago, less than 2% tapped a free ISP.

According to the report, growth rates for NetZero and Kmart-sponsored BlueLight have been consistently strong. The two ISPs lead the group of free services with 1.6% and 1.5% shares, respectively. However, the report finds that growth among any single ISP is marginal, and concludes that users aren't loyal to any given service. On average, one out of every two free-ISP customers use more than one service, the report says.

In comparison, fee-based giants AOL and MSN continue to hold significant leads in the market. Despite a slight dip over the summer, AOL still claims about 7% of the market; overall, MSN has been on the rise, claiming about 3% of the market. The report finds that customers are much more likely to stick with AOL and MSN than with the services' free competitors.

The analysis measures market share by examining which ISP is actually running when a PC is analyzed at PC Pitstop's Web site--a metric that only PC Pitstop can provide. The report also gathers data on which ISPs are simply installed on a user's hard drive (and may not necessarily be running).

The PC Pitstop study also examines each ISP's connection performance and stake in the broadband bandwidth market. Not surprisingly, the average customer's connection speed for free ISPs is between 28.8Kbps and 56K. However, the study reports that neither MSN nor AOL claim much of a share in the broadband Internet market, either--with an overwhelming majority of customers dialing up at under 60kps.

Visit https://www.pcpitstop.com to download the complete study in PDF format at no charge or contact PC Pitstop at research@pcpitstop.com.

About PC Pitstop -- PC Pitstop, LLC, founded in November 1999, launched its Web site, https://www.pcpitstop.com, in March 2000. Using proprietary Web technologies, the site offers users PC diagnostics, tune-up tips and information about their PCs. The site has received critical acclaim and recommendations from PC World, LockerGnome, and Tech TV (formerly ZD-TV).

About PC Pitstop Research -- PC Pitstop research is unique and highly accurate due to the Web site's ability to collect data directly from Windows, not simply via a telephone or marketing survey, which tend to have high error rates. In addition, PC Pitstop analyses are updated monthly, collecting approximately 50,000 new data points every month.

From the PC diagnostic process, PC Pitstop stores large volumes of information related to the PCs tested at the site. PC Pitstop aggregates this data to identify and explore trends in the PC industry. (Note: PC Pitstop adheres to a stringent privacy policy and uses this information strictly for research and aggregation purposes; not for individual or targeted marketing campaigns.)

Please send inquiries to research@pcpitstop.com

Top of Page


24 October 2000


New Report Indicates Napster Continues to Grow as It Drives New-Technology Adoption

DAKOTA DUNES, S.D., Oct. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- A new report by PC Pitstop analyzes more than 300,000 PCs over the last six months and indicates that Napster continues its market acceptance. The most recent information shows that Napster was found on 30% of PCs tested at www.pcpitstop.com, bursting ahead of popular applications such as Microsoft Works, Microsoft Money, ICQ, Intuit Quicken, and McAfee VirusScan. Six months ago the freely downloaded Napster application was found on just 12% of PCs.

According to the report, Napster's monthly growth pattern has been consistently strong with the exception of July, when Metallica's drummer, Lars Ulrich, came up with a list of 300,000 Napster users, and the RIAA filed a lawsuit against the fledgling company. Aside from this hiccup, Napster is on pace to compete with other freely downloaded applications such as WinAmp, WinZip, RealPlayer and Adobe Acrobat.

Other peer-to-peer file sharing programs are enjoying similar success, according to the report. Gnutella has grown from .06% of PCs tested in March to 1.6% in September, while Scour has zoomed from 0% in March to 5.6% in September.

Although the market acceptance statistics are stunning, the impact of Napster and its brethren on the PC industry is even more so. They appear to be driving market acceptance of high-end technology. For example, the study shows that 38% of Napster PCs have a CD-RW, compared to 26% of the general PC population. Similarly, Napster PCs have larger hard drives: Napster hard drives average 14.6GB; the general PC population is at just over 12GB. More importantly, Napster PCs have significantly more digital information stored. Napster PCs have 4.9GB of information, compared to the general PC population with only 3.6GB.

Perhaps the most important ramification of the new file-sharing technologies is on broadband Internet connections. Napster PCs are close to 50% more likely to have a broadband connection(>60Kbps). Overall, 48% of Napster PCs had a broadband connection, compared to 36% of the general population.

The comprehensive PC Pitstop study also found that Napster, Gnutella, and Scour PCs have, predictably, faster CPUs, more memory, and higher DVD attach rates than PCs without these technologies. Gnutella and Scour have more information since they are sharing images, video and musical information; Napster only shares musical information.

Please visit https://www.pcpitstop.com to download the free, complete study in PDF format - or contact PC Pitstop at research@pcpitstop.com.

About PC Pitstop - PC Pitstop, LLC, founded in November 1999, launched its Web site, https://www.pcpitstop.com, in March 2000. Using proprietary Web technologies, the site assists users in the tuning, diagnostics and education of their PC. The site has received critical acclaim from PC World, LockerGnome, and Tech TV (formerly ZD-TV).

Throughout the diagnostic process, PC Pitstop is able to store large volumes of information related to the PCs tested at the site. PC Pitstop aggregates this data to learn more about trends in the PC industry. PC Pitstop uses this information strictly for research and aggregation purposes, and not for individual or targeted marketing campaigns.


15 May 2000


Winners of World's Second PC Time Trials Announced by PC Pitstop.com


The Owners of the Fastest and Slowest PCs Each Win a New Gateway 1000MHz Computer

Dakota Dunes, S.D. (May 15, 2000) - Gateway (NYSE: GTW) and PC Pitstop.com announced the winners of the second Time Trials held at PC Pitstop.com, a virtual PC service station. During the month of April, thousands of PCs were tested and scored against a series of performance standards established by PC Pitstop mechanics. Gateway provided new Gateway Select 1000MHz PCs as prizes to owners of the fastest and slowest performing machines for doing nothing more than running the test and allowing PC Pitstop mechanics to optimize their machines free of charge.

Donald Nailor of Mechanicsburg, PA, crossed the finish line first with his supercharged 1000MHz machine with 256MB of RAM. His score of 556 narrowly beat last month's fastest score of 545. Since Donald had recently purchased his machine, he found this to be the perfect opportunity to give his son a wonderful birthday present.

"I think your site is awesome, and I don't quite understand why you would take my computer and tune it up for me, and make it the fastest one registered on your site, and then give me a brand new computer to boot!" said Nailor. "You made my machine what it is."

Pulling up the rear in dead last place was Sara Johnson of Sweetwater, TN, with a lowly score of negative 117. As bad as this score is, it's much better than the negative 360 score that finished last in March. PC Pitstop mechanics said they hope PC Pitstop is helping to raise the performance bar.

Sara said she was "tickled pink" when she found out she won for having such a poor operating machine. She said PC Pitstop was able to offer a number of tips that improved the performance of her antique significantly, "but there's only so much you could do." She plans to retire her old machine and become more active in searching the web and discovering more capabilities with her new Gateway high-performance system.

Even though speed is always the most noticed criteria in performance, PC Pitstop uses a number of factors in determining a performance score. Memory, performance, operating system configurations, security settings and a number of other factors weigh in to determine the rank of every machine that PC Pitstop.com analyzes.

"Every PC that visits PC Pitstop.com wins," said Fritz Frazier of Gateway. "The site helps visitors enhance the performance of their PCs by offering state-of-the art diagnostics and tools, along with the free advice of PC gurus like Martin Heller and Dave Methvin. Gateway has supported the launch of PC Pitstop.com and supplied prizes for the Time Trials because it's a great free service for any PC owner."

PC Pitstop.com performs extensive diagnostics on each machine and offers the tools and/or advice to repair and optimize the machine, its software, operating system and even its Internet connection speeds. People who bring their machines into www.pcpitstop.com have a chance to push their machines faster and keep them in the race longer.

About PC Pitstop.com
Founded by former Gateway Senior Vice President Rob Cheng, PC Pitstop.com (www.pcpitstop.com) launched on March 1, 2000. As the next generation in automated PC system analysis and optimization, PC Pitstop.com provides its visitors with a number of detailed analyses of their PCs' hardware, software and operating system. From this information, PC Pitstop.com provides both automated solutions and advice on setting the machine for optimal performance and fixing problems that impede the machine's efficiency. Advice and guidance comes from co-founders Dave Methvin and Martin Heller, who bring over 20 years of combined experience in analyzing PCs and their issues for publications such as PC Week, Windows Magazine, Byte.com, and others. PC Pitstop.com is entirely free to its visitors. The site is also totally secure because it only looks at PCs, never at people.

About Gateway
Since its founding in 1985, Gateway, Inc. has grown to be one of America's 250 largest corporations, with 1999 sales in excess of US$8.6 billion and more than 4.7 million PCs. The company has more than 20,000 employees worldwide. Gateway is the largest provider of consumer PCs in America, and one of the largest worldwide.

Press Release
Top


11 April 2000


Winners of World's First PC Time Trials announced by PC Pitstop.com

The Owners of the Fastest and Slowest PCs Each Win a New Gateway 1000MHz Computer

Dakota Dunes, S.D. (April 11, 2000) -- PC Pitstop.com waved the checkered flag and announced today the winners of its PC Pitstop Time Trials for March. PC Pitstop.com, a virtual service station for PCs measured the performance of thousands of PCs in March, and the best and worst machines to cross the finish line were both awarded a hot new Gateway Select 1000MHz PC.

Scott Lane of Anchorage screeched across the finish line first with his Cryotech Super G, with an AMD Athlon processer that is super-cooled and tweaked to run at close to 1000MHz. Lane, an avid PC gamer, said that PC Pitstop.comSM helped him improve the performance of even the fastest machine in his garage (he has a home network with five PCs and coincidentally works full-time in a garage).

"The first time I went to PC Pitstop.comSM their diagnostic tools found a number of ways I could boost my performance," said Lane. "After I followed their advice I saw a 15% performance improvement in my best machine."

Lane was clocked at 545 by the PC Pitstop.com Crew, a number which is a measurement of multiple factors that go beyond pure speed. Memory, performance, operating system configurations, security settings and a number of other factors weigh in to determine the rank of every machine that PC Pitstop.com analyzes.

The Model-T that sputtered across the line is owned by Larry Schneider of Glendale, AZ. While Larry was clocked at an underwhelming -360, even his old 486 was offered a number of tips to bring it back into the race.

"Every PC that visits PC Pitstop.comSM wins," said Fritz Frazier of Gateway. "The site helps visitors enhance the performance of their PCs by offering state-of-the art diagnostics and tools, along with the free advice of PC gurus like Martin Heller and Dave Methvin who have more than 20 years combined PC analysis experience. Gateway has supported the launch of PC Pitstop.comSM and supplied the prize for the Time Trials because it's a great free service for any PC owner."

PC Pitstop.comSM performs extensive diagnostics on each machine and offers the tools and/or advice to repair and optimize the machine, its software, operating system and even its Internet connection speeds. People who bring their machines into www.pcpitstop.com have a chance to push their machines faster and keep them in the race longer.

The PC Pitstop Time Trials are on again for the month of April. Once more the best and worst machines on the web will race and anyone can compete.

About PC Pitstop.com: Founded by former Gateway (NYSE: GTW) Senior Vice President, Rob Cheng, PC Pitstop.com (www.pcpitstop.com) launched on March 1, 2000. As the next generation in automated PC system analysis and optimization, PC Pitstop.comSM provides its visitors with a number of detailed analyses of their PCs' hardware, software and operating system. From this information, PC Pitstop.com provides both automated solutions and advice on setting the machine for optimal performance and fixing problems that impede the machine's efficiency. Advice and guidance comes from co-founders Dave Methvin and Martin Heller, who bring over 20 years of combined experience in analyzing PCs and their issues for publications like, PC Week, Windows Magazine, Byte.com, and others. PC Pitstop.com is entirely free to its visitors. The site is also totally secure, because it only looks at PCs, never at people.

Press Release
Top


3 March 2000


PC Pitstop Today Makes Internet Debut


New Site Offers Most Complete Online Diagnosis and Repair

DAKOTA DUNES, S.D. - March 3, 2000 - PC Pitstop, a virtual service station for PCs, goes live today at www.pcpitstop.com. At the PitstopSM, PC users can get performance evaluations and tune-ups, remote diagnostics of system problems with autofix technology, assistance with software and hardware upgrades and additions, as well as volumes of easy-to-understand information about PCs - all free to registered users.

"Our business model is literally an online Jiffy Lube for PCs, which is why we call it PC PitstopSM," says Rob Cheng, chairman and founder of PC Pitstop. "A PC user 'drives' his machine into the PC Pitstop Web site, and a few minutes later, a virtual mechanic hands him a personalized list of what needs to be fixed. He can do the repairs himself, or he can tell the mechanic to do them. It's a one-stop shop."

The site is the brainchild of PC industry veterans Cheng, David Methvin and Martin Heller. Cheng is the former senior vice president of Gateway Inc.'s consumer PC division, and as such, was responsible for technical support to millions of customers. Methvin was executive editor at Windows Magazine, and is co-author of Networking Windows NT. Heller is a senior contributing editor at Byte.com and Winmag.com, and is the author of several PC books including Advanced Windows Programming.

"Our focus on providing solutions is what makes PC PitstopSM different," says Methvin. "Most diagnostic software is designed to detect problems. Detection is actually the easy part. Our technology detects problems, gives you practical advice on how to fix them, or in some cases fixes them automatically for you if you choose." Methvin and Heller collaborated to write the autofix software that makes PC PitstopSM unique among online PC support sites.

Methvin says he hopes his users will come to see PC PitstopSM as preventive medicine for their computers. "Smart people see their doctors regularly to prevent health problems," he says. "Running tests at the Pitstop every month or so, especially when you add hardware or software, is like having a physical checkup - without any pain or embarrassment."

The Web site is also educational. Cheng says, "We believe in using plain English on the site, no computerese, so that people of all levels can browse and feel right at home. A friend told me his mother has spent hours on the beta site learning about her PC. That's what we want to hear."

To entice PC users to explore the site and return often, PC PitstopSM runs a contest each month. The person with the highest scoring PC and the person with the lowest scoring PC tested on the site during the month will win a prize. During March, PC Pitstop's launch month, prizes will be new GatewayTM PCs. "Nowhere else can you test the true performance of your PC against other PCs," says Cheng. "And because the Pitstop is designed to help all kinds of PC users, we're giving prizes at both ends of the performance spectrum. You guys and gals with the hotrods, here's your chance to drag race with PCs all over the world. And if you have an old junker, haul it out and let our mechanics have a look. You could win a brand new replacement."

PC Pitstop's launch month performance contest is sponsored by GatewayTM. "We're supporting this launch," says Fritz Frazier, Gateway's director of advertising, "because it's an excellent service to PC users. And of course we're cheering for a Gateway PC to win the high-performance test."

Methvin says the PC Pitstop Web site will continue to grow and develop. With the launch behind them, Web developers plan to add sophisticated software for virus detection, disk health and system security.

Press Release

? 2000 PC Pitstop, L.L.C.
GatewayTM is a trademark of Gateway, Inc.
Jiffy Lube is a registered trademark of Jiffy Lube, Inc.

Top of Page


March 2001


Lockergnome GnomedexREPORT

"How to keep your system running fast."

As a writer and editor in the PC industry for more than a dozen years, [Dave Methvin] has written a lot of articles that aim to help people tune, tweak, fix, and enhance their PCs...Dave's goal with PC Pitstop is to make a visit to this web site more like consulting than reading, so we can have your PC at top performance in record time.

From the Lockergnome GnomedexREPORT
Top


March 2001


Best Free Stuff Online

PC Pitstop, in addition to its virus scanner, offers a disk analyzer, an Internet connection monitor, a tool for analyzing your PC's configuration and making recommendations for better performance, and a diagnostic tool that tells you if unwanted ActiveX controls are lurking in your PC. (Full Article)

By Matt Lake, PC World
Top


March 9, 2000


The Word on Computers

If you're not sure what [resource-hogging programs] to uninstall, there is help available online. PC Pitstop is a free, Web-based service that can tell you exactly what each of those programs is. More importantly, they can show you how to clean up the mess and tune your system so it runs smoothly. Give your PC a check-up at PCPitstop.com.

From Andy Wells' "The Word on Computers" Australian radio weekly syndicate
Top


February 2001


Neat Net Tricks

A free service at PC Pitstop examines your computer's configuration, performs benchmark tests, and offers tips on solving problems and improving performance. You'll get data on the system, memory, disk, video, Internet, Windows, security and other useful stuff. Needs Internet Explorer 4.0 or higher to work.

By Jack Teems, Steamtunnels magazine
Top


February 16, 2001


Test PC's Performance

John in Greenville, Ohio, asks if there is a good program to test how well one's computer is working.

I love a browser-based free Web service you can find at PC Pitstop. Some former head honchos at Gateway Computers started PC Pitstop. PC Pitstop uses ActiveX controls and JavaScript to run its tests. The service is free and a very nice resource for those wanting to evaluate a computer's performance and vulnerabilities.

From "Call for Help," TechTV
Top


February 12, 2001


Get Rid of Resource-Hogging Programs

Want to fight back [against resource-hogging programs]? The experts at PC Pitstop (Dave Methvin and Martin Heller of Winmag.com) have put together an amazing free Web-based service that can tell you exactly what each of those programs is. More importantly, they can show you how to clean up the mess and tune your system so it runs as smooth as a Formula One race car. While they're at it, they'll test your PC's overall performance, look for viruses and security holes, and measure the true speed of your Internet connection. (You might be surprised to learn that you're not getting the bandwidth you're paying for.) (Full article)

By Ed Bott, About.com
Top


February 6, 2001


AskMen.com Site of the Day

If you're tired of seeing your PC slow down like it's an old beat up car, run the diagnostics and turn your PC into a high flying machine again. (Full Article)

From AskMen.com
Top


January 2001


Log-On for a Tune-Up

If you want to know exactly what your system is made of and see how your tweaks will improve performance over time, PC Pitstop is a great place to pull in for a tune-up. Its summary screen uses signal-flag icons to warn you of underperforming hardware, security risks, and areas in need of improvement. (Full Article)

By Alice Hill, Computer Shopper
Top


January 2001


LangaList

LangaList newsletter highlights:

Fred Langa, The LangaList
Top


January 22, 2001


Tune-Up Your PC

TechTV show highlights: "This free website makes PCs run lean and mean."

Also see: https://www.techtv.com/callforhelp/answerstips/story/0,23008,2579633,00.html

From "Call for Help," TechTV
Top


January 18, 2001


A Free PC Checkup

If you want to know whether your PC has a clean bill of health, cruise over to PC Pitstop for a free check up. The site will diagnose what ails your computer, be it a poor network connection or a pesky virus. (Full article)

By Ivan Carvalho, eCompany Now
Top


December 15, 2000


Incredibly Useful Site of the Day

Your computer has slowed to a crawl and your disk drive is emitting a disheartening repetitive thunk. If you don't feel like sitting on hold on the tech-support phone line, take matters into your own hands at PC Pitstop. (Full article)

Yahoo! Internet Life
Top


November 21, 2000


Find Processor Speed

Q: Is there any way the processor speed can be verified through Windows 95/98 and NT without having to look up the part and model number?

A few other Web-based utilities -- Belarc and PC Pitstop -- provide the same information and go even further by providing you with information on your drives, controllers, memory modules, and even installed software. The added benefit of using services like PC Pitstop is that you can choose to save diagnostic information about your PC from time to time to get suggestions on how to improve your performance if it is not optimal.

By David Prager, TechTV
Top


October 19, 2000


CNET Webware.com & Help.com

From CNET Webware.com: Keep your PC in top form with this online system evaluation tool that runs diagnostics on your PC and identifies things that might help improve performance. The process is fully automated, free, and will not change any settings on your PC or access any private information. PC Pitstop works by installing several DLLs (Dynamic Link Libraries) on your system when you give it permission by clicking OK on the appropriate security certificate.

From CNET Help.com: "Cable Modems: Check Your Upload Speed"

Many ISPs will limit your upload transfer rates. You can check and see what you're getting on the upswing by paying a visit to PCPitstop.com and trying their Internet Connection Upload test.

CNET Webware.com
& CNET Help.com

Top